1. Must be a current member of the Bar in good standing.
2. Must have acted as primary counsel in at least one of the following (see below for defintion of terms):
a) A court or jury trial. Summary adjudication or default proceedings do not qualify. The award must be a final judgement and not subject to appeal or other possible modification.
b) A binding arbitration proceeding where evidence was presented.
c) Negotiation of a final settlement.
3. If an award was by structured settlement, the present value of the award is the qualifying amount.
4. Must provide adequate case information for verification. If a qualifying award is held as a confidential settlement, may provide a general description of the case.
5. Time-senstive qualification requirements are tracked according to certification date.
6. Member status is reviewed annually in order to maintain qualification requirements.*
Definition Of "Primary Counsel"
The term "primary counsel" defines the attorney who is primarily responsible for the preparation, management, settlement and/or trial of a qualifying case. It is not limited to one attorney, nor is it limited to lead (i.e. "first chair") attorney or co-counsel. It is the attorney who has main responsibility for and management of a qualifying case. It does not include an attorney who worked on the case or referred the case.
Definition Of "Final Judgment"
If the qualifying case was a trial verdict, the judgment must be entered and no longer subject to modification – i.e. the judgment does not qualify if it is pending post-trial motions or appeal. A judgment reversed on appeal does not qualify.
Definition of "Settlement"
If a qualifying award was the result of a post-trial settlement and/or dismissal without a final judgment being entered, the amount of the ultimate settlement is the award considered – not the amount of the trial verdict. If there is a verdict award, and a final judgment is entered, the verdict qualifies despite a settlement which is less than the amount of the verdict. The award amount that is considered is determined as the final entry of judgment.
Summary Adjudication And Default Judgments
Judgments entered upon summary adjudications and default judgments do not qualify. Qualification as a verdict requires presentation of evidence at a contested trial or binding arbitration proceeding.
Award To Multiple Clients
The member’s client(s) must have received the verdict, award or settlement for an amount to qualify. Amounts awarded to other parties in the same case do not qualify.